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Carville: Cain Allegations "Going To Take A Toll" On The Candidate

BLITZER: Let's discuss the political fallout. Joining us, our Democratic strategist, the CNN political contributor James Carville, Republican strategist, also a CNN contributor, Alex Castellanos.

James, let me go to you first.

Is this going to be a big deal, a little deal in Herman Cain's quest for the Republican nomination?

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, my opinion has always been that he was never going to be the Republican nominee. To the extent that you can reduce the chances of something from never then this hurts some.

And what's happened here is I think a lot of Republicans are paying attention to this. And, you know, now this is the fourth person. Who knows when the fifth one is coming out?

And I have no idea -- by the way, I'm not saying that Herman Cain is not telling the truth or this woman is not telling the truth. I have no idea. But I've experienced this kind of thing before. And generally, as these things mount up, it takes a pretty good toll. And I suspect that we're going to see this toll be taken here in the next week or so.

BLITZER: It's been a little bit more than a week since the accusations first came out, reported first by Politico.

But Alex, he's raised more than $2 million in this week. That's almost as much as he raised in weeks and weeks going into this accusation. So, financially, and in terms of poll numbers, he seems to be weathering it, at least so far.

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: You know, until this point, Wolf, that's right. He framed this as a debate really between Herman Cain and the news media. Pick which one you believe is telling the truth. Well, he can't do that anymore.

Now there's a witness out there. There's human evidence. And it's much more difficult.

I think you can say today that the Michael Jackson jury found Herman Cain guilty in the court of public opinion today. The dots now, you don't have to connect them. They're beginning to connect themselves. And this is a blow to the campaign.

I talked to the Herman Cain campaign actually this morning, and they weren't expecting this. They were talking about how they're going to move on to the next chapter, get back to policy and tax cuts and those kinds of things. So, I think now, clearly, this is something they're going to have address, which is not what they had been expecting to do.

BLITZER: He issued a long statement, James, and I'll read a bit of it and get your reaction.

He said, "Contrary to the belief of experts, so wise and learned in the ways of Politics, I do know what the established rules say I am supposed to do. I simply refuse to do it. That's because the rules are ridiculous, and they produce leaders like Barack Obama." It goes on to say, "If the media want to continue talking about nonsense, that's fine. I'm not going to join them."

A statement like that, James, is that going to be enough?

CARVILLE: And again, I understand what he's doing. I think politically he's doing what's sort of available to him. And there's no question that the media is not popular among the people that he needs to get to vote for him.

Having said that, people are going to say, well, gee, this is four. When is the fifth going to come? And even if everybody is lying about it, does it become a point where this becomes sort of crushing, that he can't talk about the things that we want to hear?

I don't know, but I think that it's going to take a toll. I can't imagine it's not. But I would reiterate what I've thought from the beginning, that I never thought he was in any way going to be the Republican nominee. I certainly didn't think so before, and I certainly don't now.

BLITZER: Alex, who benefits among the other Republican candidates the most from this aggravation that Herman Cain is going through right now?

CASTELLANOS: Probably all of the other second-tier candidates, but probably a candidate like Newt Gingrich benefits the most, because right now Romney is on one tier. He is the candidate that Republicans aren't passionate about, but they know he can stand up to debating Obama, they know he would be competitive in a general. And then there are these second-tier candidates who haven't quite matured enough.

It may be their first lap around the track. But they have the passion of the party even if they -- the party is not confident that they would make the best nominee.

So, if Romney collapses, any of these second-tier candidates could end up as the nominee. And Herman Cain was the leader of that set.

So, I disagree with James. There was a path for Herman Cain. But I think right now it's much more difficult.

James' point I think is dead on, which is you can't have as a campaign slogan, "Everybody is lying but me." And at some point where this is just too much of this, it begins to create a pattern that tells you something about the character of a candidate.

And people begin to look at it and say, well, wait a minute. Even if I believe it, I'm not sure that others will in a general election against Barack Obama.

So this is at a serious point now. And I think what Cain is doing is saying, hey, I'm just going to ignore this, this is an evil conspiracy against me. That's not going to get him there.

BLITZER: Well, we'll see what happens.

Guys, thanks very much. James and Alex, good analysis.

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